WARSAW, Ky. -- The Gallatin County Sheriff is consulting the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on its recent "creepy clown" threat, which frightened students and parents enough to cut attendance in half Tuesday.
Gallatin County Schools stepped up security Tuesday after receiving a “vague threat of violence” on Facebook the day before. The name used in the Gallatin County messages have been used in other, similar threats across the country, according to Sheriff Josh Neale.
“The threat does not seem creditable (sic), but in order to ensure the safety of students and staff we take all threats seriously,” a district representative wrote on Facebook.
"If you get a message on your phone, you need to report it immediately" Sheriff Josh Neale @WCPO
— T.J. Parker (@TJParkerWCPO) September 27, 2016
Attendance on Tuesday was down to 48 percent -- typical attendance is 95 percent, according to school officials.
Michelle Murphy, whose children attend Gallatin County Schools, said the source of the threat was a pair of Facebook accounts with clowns in their profile pictures.
In screenshots Murphy sent to WCPO, “Bobby Daklown” and “Michael Daklown” threatened to shoot students at area high schools.
Although this threat is not considered credible, creepy clowns have made a splash across the country recently, with reported sightings of sinister individuals in clown costume in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and now Kentucky.
"Bobby Daklown" and "Michael Daklown" are names used in other threats, but Neale said it's uncertain if the names indicate a connection in the cases or a copycat. Neale has contacted the FBI and Homeland Security and said the person or people making the "clown threats" could face local charges of inducing panic and terroristic threatening.